Real Estate Balance in Birmingham

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28 February 2024

04:00 PM

PwC, One Chamberlain Sq, Birmingham B3 3AX

People in the Bull Ring, Birmingham

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The member organisations of Real Estate Balance are based all across Britain and the past few years has seen us steadily increasing our programme of activities outside of London.

We are therefore delighted to invite our members, as well as our Network of Networks members, to this upcoming event in Birmingham – one of Britain’s first ‘super-diverse’ cities with more than half of the population being ethnic minorities and more than 100 languages spoken in a city of well over a million people.

As well as its diverse population, the ‘second city’ is youthful, with more than 40% of people aged under 25, and its five universities provide a deep pool of talent and innovation fuelling its fledgling technology and life sciences sectors. A recent report highlighted Birmingham’s highly educated talent, young demographic and predicted population increase as key drivers in real estate growth over the next decade. 

Birmingham benefits from being in the heart of the UK with excellent transport links to all parts of the country and the prospect of HS2 further slashing travel times to London, in addition to the development this is generating. Despite impressive economic growth in recent years, it remains much more affordable than London. ‘Forward’, the city’s motto, encapsulates the spirit of regeneration and the continual evolution of the region.

And yet, in the wider West Midlands, almost a quarter of the population, and a staggering 40% of children, are living in poverty, the third highest of the regions of the UK, which becomes even more acute in certain ethnic groups.

The real estate sector, an important part of the economy in the Midlands, has not always been representative of the communities it serves. However, our members in Birmingham know the business benefits of a diverse workforce and are striving to develop inclusive cultures where everyone can be their authentic selves regardless of their gender, ethnicity or socio-economic background.

And there are notable successes and best practices to be shared. Long-term commitment to educational partnerships, meaningful stakeholder and community engagement, progressive and de-biased hiring practices, valuing diversity data, role models, providing networking opportunities and mentoring of diverse talent among them.

These tactics are all being utilised by organisations in Birmingham, and our panel of property professionals from the city will share with attendees how they are trying to create pathways into real estate roles and structures for career development for those currently underrepresented.

They will also discuss how the real estate industry is evolving, what more can be done to make workplaces more inclusive and how the predicted growth in the “Midlands Engine” can provide real opportunities for Birmingham’s super-diverse population, with the potential for the real estate industry to reap the proven business benefits of a diverse talent pool.

Attendees will also get the chance to ask questions of the panel and network with likeminded peers.


Deborah Cadman

Deborah Cadman OBE - Chief Executive, Birmingham City Council 

Deborah has more than 30 years’ experience in public services. Prior to her appointment at Birmingham City Council, Deborah was Chief Executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority. 

She was previously Local Government Advisor to the Ministerial Team at the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions, Head of Policy at Redcar and Cleveland Borough and Audit Commission's Best Value Service Lead Inspector for the London region. Deborah also has extensive Chief Executives experience of all levels of Government (National, Regional, Metropolitan, Borough, District) which includes Chief Executive for St Edmundsbury Borough Council and East Suffolk Council, the East of England Regional Development Agency and Suffolk County Council. 

She was born and bred in Birmingham and attended the Loughborough University and the University of Birmingham. Deborah has a degree in politics as well as a master’s degree in economics and a further master’s degree in management practice. She recently received Honorary Doctorates from Loughborough and Aston University. 

Deborah received an OBE in 2006 for services to local government. She was recently high commended in the Chief Executive of the Year category at the Inclusive Companies Awards 2019. 

She is a trustee of the Joseph Rowntree Trust and Joseph Rowntree Housing Foundation, and as a dedicated and passionate female advocate at the forefront of the public sector, Deborah recently won the First Women Award for Public Service. 

Deborah was a Commissioner for the Smart Government Commission making recommendation for the reform of the civil service and is a Local government advisor on the Reform Advisory Board and Resolution Foundation as an advisor. She is also a Trustee for Centre for Cities. Deborah was also a fellow on the Centre for Science and Policy at Cambridge University. 

Deborah is listed in Local Government Chronicle’s ‘100 Most Influential in the Sector’. She also recently won the UKREiiF’s ‘Public Sector Impact Award’. 

Trusha Kachhela

Trusha Kachhela, Head of Legal Business Solutions, PwC United Kingdom

As Head of Legal in the UK, Trusha leads a legal business that comprises around 250 lawyers and other legal professionals in the UK and forms part of PwC’s multidisciplinary practice of services. 

Gurdit Landa

Gurdit Landa, Senior Project Manager, Stace LLP 

Gurdit is a Senior Project Manager at Stace LLP with a background in civil engineering. Originally from Nottingham, Gurdit spent most of his career in Birmingham, working on projects in both infrastructure and real estate.

Leading the EDI team at Stace LLP in Birmingham, he's passionate about diversity and inclusion, especially as someone from an ethnic minority. He's committed to making a positive impact and fostering a more inclusive and diverse professional environment. 

Sandy Munroe

Sandy Munroe, Partner, Davitt Jones Bould (Chair)

Sandy is a commercial property expert with over 35 years’ experience. Her expertise ranges from the property aspects of joint venture acquisitions or projects for local authorities, including outsourcing of specific services to supporting local authorities with disposals of assets and the granting of leases of industrial estates. She also has vast knowledge and experience in: sales and purchases for private corporate clients, landlord and tenant matters acting for retailers, private and public sector bodies, land acquisitions and site set-ups for residential developers, acquisitions and refinancing for registered providers, large scale voluntary transfers for registered providers, insolvency sales acting for the lender, sales and PFI projects for Health Trusts, as well as disposals and the building of new schools for local authorities. 

Prior to joining Davitt Jones Bould, Sandy led the Local Government Property Team at Anthony Collins Solicitors.  Additionally, she has advised clients in various sectors including education, health, social housings, property finance and those in the private sector.

ED&I has always featured heavily throughout Sandy’s legal career - she led the Women in Property School outreach programme, was part of the Law Society’s REACH programme and the ED&I lead at both of her previous Firms. Sandy is also a member of Birmingham Black Lawyers.


Joanna Raine

Joanna Raine, Partner, Cushman & Wakefield

Joanna has over 15 years’ experience and is a Partner in C&W’s Birmingham valuation and advisory team. She has specialised in advising lenders, property companies and public sector bodies across the major asset classes. She provides advice for loan security, accounting, acquisition, disposal purposes and expert witness purposes. She has also led and continues to lead on a number of national valuation instructions coordinating teams in up to 11 offices.

In addition to her role in Valuation, Joanna leads Cushman & Wakefield’s Women’s Integrated Network (WIN) group in the UK.  The Women’s Integrated Network (WIN) was created to develop and support the talents of women team members by providing a platform that values diverse perspectives and leverages leadership skills to benefit our firm, clients and the industry as a whole. Joanna also takes an active role in supporting graduates within C&W acting as an APC supervisor and counsellor.

Registration is from 4pm for a 4.30pm prompt start. The discussion will close at around 5.45pm and be followed by networking until 7pm. 

If you would like to attend, please request a place clicking on the button above. Places are limited and will be on a first come, first served basis.

We look forward to seeing you there.